Arizona May 08, 2016
These 8 Terrifying Earthquakes Struck Arizona And Nobody Saw Them Coming
News stations and papers lately have been all aflutter with stories about earthquake swarms happening in the northwestern part of the state. To some people, this comes as a surprise because there’s a misconception that Arizona is a disaster-free state but that’s actually not the case. Today, we’re going to take a look at some disastrous—though injury-free—earthquakes that have happened in Arizona’s recorded history.
1. Yuma, 1872
Rated at a magnitude 5.9, this earthquake is one of the earliest recorded earthquakes to occur in Arizona. It happened on May
3, 1872, caused damaged to several buildings, and scared the daylights out of people.
2. Sonora, 1887
This earthquake's epicenter was actually about 40 miles south of the ArizonaMexico border but, rated at a 7.4, it caused a
heck of a lot of damage in Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico. One person in Tombstone reportedly said that it sounded like
“prolonged artillery fire.” Here's a video with more details about that particular even:.
3. San Francisco Peaks, 1906
When this earthquake hit the Flagstaff area in 1906, Arizona's earthquake monitoring was still in its infancy. (In fact, the state didn't really get into using seismographs and detailed monitoring until the mid-twentieth century.) This earthquake caused quite a bit of damage, including cracking walls and damaging chimneys. The rumble could be felt all the way down to Phoenix.
4. Coconino National Forest, 1910
Occurring near Flagstaff, a series of 52 earthquakes and tremors shook the area for 13 days. It resulted in a few boulders rolling into construction crew camps and sent others in the area fleeing as the shocks kept the land shaking.
5. San Francisco Peaks, 1912
It's sounding like the area near the San Francisco Peaks was not the place to be in the early part of the 20th-century. A couple of years after the 1910 earthquakes, which is often claimed to be rated a magnitude 6, this violent earthquake shook the region once again. It caused a crack in the earth north of the Peaks 30 to 50-miles long, damaged buildings, and sent people fleeing into the streets (this was before earthquake safety was well-known). Rockslides were also reported.
6. Duncan, 1938
This earthquake shook portions of eastern Arizona about one month after an earthquake in western New Mexico. Measured at 5.5, residents reported seeing trees and bushes shake with the earthquake and building walls were cracked.
7. Fredonia, 1959
Right in the middle of summer, the strongest reported earthquakes to occur in Arizona's boundaries was this one in Fredonia. It caused significant damage to buildings, cracking walls, breaking windows, and throwing items from shelves. The earthquake was also attributed to a rock slide at Mather Point in the Grand Canyon.
8. Chino Valley, 1976
Measured as a 5.1 earthquake, this one caused some minimal damage but could be felt throughout the state, including down to Tucson and Yuma.
Did you know about these historical events?